The 4000 Year Old Man

I was visiting the Avebury Stone Circle in England which, while not as well known as Stonehenge, is far larger and at least twice as old. It consists of three concentric circles separated by swales at least fifty feet deep. The outer circle close to two miles across with an entrance extending out another mile. The stones used to form the circles were mined only a short distance away, not transported many miles and across a river as were those at Stonehenge. There are no capstones, just various size monoliths, some standing as much as twenty feet tall.

The small village of Avebury was built inside the circles around five hundred years ago and much of the stone used for building the houses came from cutting up the original Sarin stones. There are now concrete markers where the removed stones once stood. It's still an impressive example of something built by the ancient people who lived in that region. It was obviously built for religious purposes and not as a fort to be defended. The most striking difference in Avebury and Stonehenge is that one can wander through it where they are kept a fair distance away from Stonehenge by a fence.

As I wandered among the monoliths, I was approached by a rather strangely dressed man who struck up a conversation with me. He began telling me the history of the circles and then mentioned that he was over 4000 years old and had helped move and erect the stones to create the circles. Then he said that he was assigned the job of looking after the place.

Then, without being asked the obvious question, he told me that each time that he grew old, he was recycled and came back as a baby born to some woman who lived there to start his life all over. I replied, "Something like Groundhog Day?" He didn't seem to understand what I was talking about, guess he was too busy watching over Avebury to see many American movies.

Then he said, "Most tourists want to take my picture, I get five pounds for that service." I told him that I didn't have five pounds but would give him one pound for one photo. He agreed immediately so I handed him a one pound coin and snapped his picture as he posed in front of a stone. As soon as I took the photo, he was off in pursuit of his next tourist with a camera.

He might have been 4000 years old but the jeans and hiking shoes he was wearing under the tunic tended to take a bit from believability. I knew I'd been conned but how could I buy more entertainment for a buck fifty?



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